Drew Lavender led the way with 13 points and five assists as No. 24 Xavier was upset by Creighton on Saturday night in Omaha.
Dec. 9, 2006
OMAHA, Neb. - In its first true road game of the season, No. 24 Xavier was given all it could handle as Creighton pulled the upset, 73-67, at the Quest Center in Omaha on Saturday evening. Drew Lavender led the way with 13 points on 5-of-13 shooting, including 11 second-half points, while dishing-out five assists but it was not enough for the Blue and White. The loss drops XU to 7-2 on the season, while Creighton improves to 4-2 overall.
The Musketeers would not lead at any point in the contest as CU tallied the first four points of the game and would not relinquish the lead for the remainder of the time.
Creighton scored nine of the first 11 points in the second half to gain its largest lead of the contest at 43-28. CU's Anthony Tolliver would record the third three-point field goal in his career against the Musketeers during the stretch as he put the Bluejays out in front by 15 points.
The closest Xavier would get in the second half would come after a 10-2 run to cut the score to 52-48 with 9:02 remaining in the game. Two treys by Stanley Burrell would account for six out of the 10 points with two Justin Doellman put-backs adding the remaining four points. The two squads would exchange baskets for the remainder of the contest as Xavier could not cut into the advantage.
Creighton's Tolliver continued his impressive play against the Musketeers as the senior ended with 17 points on 6-of-14 shooting with three blocks. Tolliver has now tallied 49 points on 15-of-31 from the floor in three games for an impressive 16.3 ppg against XU.
The Musketeers opened the game missing their first eight shots from the field. Out of those eight shots, five were from three-point range. Despite the cold start, XU was never down by more than four points at any time before a Derrick Brown put-back gave Xavier its first field goal of the contest. Senior Justin Cage was 4-for-4 from the free throw line during the 5:54 drought.
A dunk by senior Brandon Cole would pull the Musketeers within one at 9-8, but Creighton would respond with a 10-0 run over the next 5:14 to take an 11-point lead, 19-8. Cole would convert one of two free throws to end the CU run, but it would take another 37 seconds before Xavier could convert another field goal marking another 5:51 drought.
Xavier responded with a 7-0 run of its own over the next 2:22, capped by a Cole dunk from Drew Lavender on the break to pull back within four at 22-18.
The Bluejays would counter with another 10-2 run and push their lead back to a half-high 12 points at 34-22, as Tolliver notched five of his 12 first half points. Xavier would finish the half by scoring the last four points to cut the advantage to 34-26 at the break.
The Musketeers shot a season-low 28.6-percent (8-for-28) from the field in the half, including 11.1-percent (1-for-9) from behind the arc. The previous low came against then No. 8 Alabama in the Paradise Jam Tournament when XU shot 32.4-percent from the floor and 21.4-percent from deep.
Cole added nine points on 4-of-7 shooting and had eight caroms, including four offensive boards. Burrell bucketed 12 points, while Doellman finished with 10 points and seven boards.
Doellman continued to climb up the Xavier all-time scoring list as the senior converted on a put-back with 12:06 remaining in the second half to record his 1,022nd point in his XU career. He now ranks 41st on Xavier's all-time scoring list.
The Musketeers were only the second-ever ranked team to visit the Quest Center to take on the Bluejays. The only other ranked opponent to visit was No. 25 Northern Iowa on Jan. 31 of last season. Creighton downed the Panthers, 63-55, in the Missouri Valley Conference matchup in front of 14,878 fans.
Tonight's game also set the Nebraska state basketball attendance record as 15,872 people attended tonight's contest at the Quest Center. It broke the previous record set last season when Creighton and Fresno State squared off in front of 15,700 fans on Feb. 18, 2006.
The Musketeers will return to action next Wednesday, December 13, as XU will travel across town to take on rival Cincinnati in the annual Skyline Chili Crosstown Shootout at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPNU and the Xavier Athletic Department, in conjunction with the Xavier National Alumni Association and the All For One Club, will also host a viewing party. The viewing party, open to all, will be held in the James & Carolina Duff Banquet Center of Cintas Center. Doors will open at 6 p.m. for the 7 p.m. tip-off on ESPNU. Attendees may enter the Cintas Center East Entrance, also marked as the Schiff Family Conference Center. The East parking area will be open and free parking will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.